Therapeutic Hypothermia

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Development of Therapeutic Hypothermia The importance of temperature management in the treatment of individuals afflicted by various medical ailments has been known for centuries with one of the earliest instances of this knowledge being recorded in the height of the Greek’s classical period. Hippocrates, a Greek physician commonly known as the father in medicine, was the first to describe the medical condition of hypothermia and note the importance of temperature in regards to some medical conditions. The following excerpt from Hippocrates writings demonstrates his rudimentary understanding of the correlation between temperature and medical conditions, “Old men have little warmth … for this reason, fevers are not so acute in old people for…show more content…
233). These experiments and others eventually led to the use of therapeutic hypothermia in humans undergoing certain cardiac surgery in which an extended ischemic period was expected although the degree of the therapeutic hypothermia, which ranged from 30-32 ºC, was associated with an increased risk of complications. As a result, the use of therapeutic hypothermia was relatively limited until it was discovered that by inducing a milder hypothermia (32-34 ºC) the number of complications associated with this protective treatment were greatly reduced. The publication of two landmark studies led to the widespread acceptance of mild therapeutic hypothermia as a protective measure for individuals who have experienced and out-of-hospital cardiac…show more content…
Shortly after the publication of these studies, the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation, endorsed the use of therapeutic hypothermia stating that patients with a Glasgow coma scale of eight or less who regained spontaneous circulation after an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and initially presented with ventricular fibrillation should be cooled to a core body temperature between 32 to 34 ºC and remain at that temperature for 12 to 24 hours (Nolan et al., 2003, p. 118-121). The American Heart Association soon followed suit and in 2010 proposed a nearly identical protocol, adding patients who first presented with ventricular tachycardia to the group of individuals who were eligible for this type of medical treatment (Peberdy et al., 2010, p.
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